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Further Declines in ND Taxable Sales and Purchases

State Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger says the 3rd Quarter of 2016 saw a 20% decline in taxable sales and purchases. Commissioner Rauschenberger says the drop in revenues was not entirely unexpected…

"...I think that we anticipated that in the sense that pretty much the entire state -- mostly in the west -- was down. But the East was down too. I think the agricultural commodity prices have hit hard across the entire state."

Rauschenberger says for the west, it has been "doubled-up, with the oil activity being down."

Rauschenberger says for the energy sector the crunch not only comes from low oil prices, but also from improving efficiencies in oil extraction…

"...Companies are cutting costs, they're essentially drilling wells for about half as much as, and completing wells for about half as much as they used to. Even if you completed the same amount of wells as you used to. That alone, having half the price on these products means a significantly less tax base in North Dakota."

Rauschenberger says retail sales also saw a decline in the third-quarter, falling by 7-percent. He says despite the declines there is still a strong consumer confidence in North Dakota.

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